Buy The Chicago Theatre Tickets
The Chicago Theatre Tickets
Once the city's premier movie theater, the Chicago Theatre is now a famous venue for hosting stage plays, magic shows, comedy performances, speeches, and live music performances. This illustrious building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 6, 1979 and was later listed as a Chicago Landmark in 1983.
Located on North State Street in the Loop community area in the city of Chicago, Illinois, USA the landmark frequently appears in film, television, artwork, and photography.
The Chicago Theatre Tickets Information
The owners of the Balaban and Katz theater chain initiated the project of the Chicago Theatre and completed its construction in 1921 at a cost of US$4 million by architects Cornelius W. Rapp and George L. Rapp, who also designed the Oriental Theatre and Uptown Theatre in Chicago.
Upon its opening on October 26, 1921, the 5000-seat theater was termed as the "Wonder Theatre of the World", and capacity crowds viewed The Sign on the Door, a film starring Norma Talmadge. A 50-piece orchestra performed and Jesse Crawford played the 29-rank Wurlitzer pipe organ. According to Chicago Tribune, mounted police were required for crowd control.
The theater soon became the flagship for the 28 theaters in the city and over 100 others in the general Midwestern United States. The theater's strategy of attracting movie patrons with a plush environment and top notch service (including the pioneering use of air conditioning) was followed nationwide
The Chicago Theatre presented premiere films and live entertainment during its first 40 years of operation. One of its biggest draws was live jazz (played by white-only bands), which Balaban and Katz promoted as early as September 1922 in a special event they called "Syncopation Week". This proved so successful that jazz bands became a mainstay of the Chicago Theatre's programming through the 1920s and into the 1930s. In preparation for the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago, the Chicago Theatre was redecorated.
In 1950s stage shows were discontinued at the venue and it went through a massive modernization. During the 1970s, business at the Chicago Theatre slowed and it finally closed in 1985. On April 1, 2004 the building was purchased by TheatreDreams Chicago, LLC.
The exterior of this seven storey building is covered in off-white terra cotta with neo-Baroque plaster designs. The 60-foot wide by six-story tall arch on the State Street fa?ade is designed similarly to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The coat of arms of the Balaban and Katz chain?two horses holding ribbons of 35 mm film in their mouths outlined by a border of film reels?is set inside a circular Tiffany stained glass window inside the arch.
French Baroque influence from the Second French Empire is clearly visible in the design and decorations of the interior. The impressive five stories high lobby surrounded by gallery promenades at the mezzanine and balcony levels is an influence of the Royal Chapel at Versailles. The grand staircase ascending to the various balcony levels is patterned from one inside the Paris Opera House. It also features beautiful crystal chandeliers and bronze light fixtures fitted with Steuben glass shades.
The stage dimensions exceed 60 feet in width and 30 feet in depth. The orchestra pit is approximately 6 feet below stage level, 54 feet wide at the stage lip, with a depth of 15 feet at center. Adjustable pit filler can be used for performances requiring other levels.
The marquee is featured in numerous movies and TV shows set in Chicago. The Y-shaped figure behind the horizontal word Chicago on the State Street side of the marquee is a city symbol and represents the Chicago River.
The Chicago Theatre was one of the first theaters in the nation to be built in the classical revival-French Baroque style (actually Neo-Baroque) and is the oldest surviving example of this style in Chicago. At present the Balaban and Katz trademark is the property of the Balaban and Katz Historical Foundation.